New Mayor endorses employer mentoring scheme as the call goes out for 'more mentors'

Published: 25 May 2006 at 10:02

An Anglia Ruskin University awards ceremony that took place at its East Road campus has marked the successful conclusion of the 2006 Employer Mentoring Scheme in Cambridge.

The scheme, which is run annually, attracted some 40 or so business participants in this its third year. It is designed to match students at university with individuals in a relevant job, who make a commitment to help them gain an understanding of their work environment, its culture, its expectations, its demands and even its frustrations. 

The new Mayor Robert Dryden Cambridge Councillor was present at the celebratory event on his first official engagement. Councillor Dryden presented certificates to the employer mentors and student mentees to acknowledge their contribution to the scheme which has seen them working together in a mentoring relationship for a period of six months. He described the scheme as ‘essential for the local business community which can make the most of the recruitment opportunities offered through this important outreach process.’

Employers nationally identify the lack of business awareness among graduates as being a significant barrier to progress.  Addressing this criticism, Anglia Ruskin University developed its Employer Mentoring Scheme, a targeted program giving second year students an opportunity to be supported and mentored by a graduate or professional from local organisations on a one-to-one basis. Each mentor helps a student to evaluate and enhance their personal skills and business awareness. 

The region’s participating employers include Ncipher, Zeus, AtosOrigin, Philips, Green Catheral, Eversheds, Edmondson Hall, Stagecoach, Addenbrookes,Headway, CECF, Cambridge Constabulary, Cambridge County Council, Eastcambs Direct Council, Legal Services, Clamp Opticians, Byard Art, Circa and Orchard Recording Studio.

The mentors all benefit from expanding their skills base, gaining a greater understanding of current developments in HE, and additionally attaining access to motivated and enthusiastic students. They also receive free training which helps them to develop skills that are essential for the formation of an effective mentoring relationship. Many trained mentors returned to the scheme each year but more are required for next year’s programme. 

Katie Morris, Employer Mentoring Adviser at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, explains:

“It is increasingly important that students are properly equipped for the world of work.  From this scheme, the students gain skills, knowledge and confidence while the employers gain access to high calibre students who can help tackle a wide range of dilemmas within the business or organisation as they put their newly acquired skills to work in a real work-place environment.”

“This scheme is good for the students, good for the employers and good for Cambridge.”

“We just need more people to volunteer to be mentors to the students. We have an almost infinite supply of students but not enough professionals from business and industry to link them with and we are urging anyone interested to get in touch with us and volunteer their services.”

Katie Morris is an graduate of the University herself, and a former recruitment executive with ten years’ experience across the fields of IT, law, biotech, healthcare and education.  As a result, she knows better than most how important it is for graduates to make the most of their talents and qualifications at the outset of their careers.

Through the mentoring scheme, Anglia Ruskin University is able to pursue its goal of developing and sustaining links and partnerships with employers in the Cambridgeshire community.

For more information about the scheme contact Anglia Ruskin University on 0845 196 2541